Links 4/1/2023

Why Primates (Including Humans) Love to Spin Ourselves around until We All Fall Down Scientific American

Study suggests pumas utilize sly strategy of fertilizing plants that recruit prey to hunting grounds

An aperiodic monotile exists! The Aperiodical. The “Einstein Hat,” “punning on the German ‘ein’ – one, ‘stein’ – stone (or tile). It’s fairly safe to predict that if the ‘einstein’ part sticks, future generations will be confused about whether Albert Einstein was involved.” Here is a video on how to construct one.


Tapping the Vast Renewable Energy of the Yellowstone Supervolcano

Does carbon capture and storage hype delay emissions cuts? Here’s what research shows

The terrible toll of the cruise ship industry High Country News

Friday essay: could a reinterpreted Marxism have solutions to our unprecedented environmental crisis? The Conversation


‘Everyone is kind of tired and has given up’ on COVID. But this new variant is ‘one to watch,’ the WHO says Fortune. XBB.1.16 (“Arcturus”). And not everyone.

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Study: Long COVID could involve factors other than SARS-CoV-2 infection Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy

Struggling with long COVID? You may find yourself in “Return to Oz” Salon

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Prior COVID-19 infection associated with increased risk of newly diagnosed erectile dysfunction Nature. Screams out for a PR offensive. Of course, that will never happen.

SARS-CoV-2 and male infertility: from short- to long-term impacts Journal of Endocrinological Investigation

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Hollywood Pretends There Is No Pandemic Violet Blue, Peste


Chinese cities are so broke, they’re cutting medical benefits for seniors CNN (MN).

China to examine US chipmaker Micron’s products for cybersecurity risks Channel News Asia

Prepare for a multipolar currency world Gillian Tett, FT. The deck: “The US dollar still dominates debt markets, but some niche-sounding data suggests things could be set to shift.” But see–

Will the Chinese renminbi replace the US dollar? Michael Pettis, Elgar Online. From 2022, still germane. Gentlemen prefer bonds. But not Chinese bonds:


After Adani’s Crisis, India’s Vedanta Looks Vulnerable Too WSJ

European Disunion

Embattled Macron heads to China, leaving burning Paris behind Reuters

Unrest in France challenges Macron’s ambitions Brookings Institutions

“It’s The Thing I Will Really Miss When I Move Back To The US”: Americans Are Sharing Everyday Aspects Of Life In Europe That Feel Like Luxuries If You Didn’t Grow With Up Them Buzzfeed. #17: “Universal, government-run healthcare.” Can’t have that. Don’t these nimrods understand they’re vassal states?

A surprising find inside the walls of Notre-Dame Big Think

New Not-So-Cold War

Kremlin releases a new foreign policy concept outlining its plans for a “multipolar” world BNE Intellinews. Here is the full text.

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Europe Close to Deciding on Peacekeeping Troops in Ukraine—Viktor Orbán Newsweek. What could go wrong?

Diplomacy Watch: Privately, experts ask White House ‘what’s the longer-term gameplan?’ Responsible Statecraft

What Is Russia’s Theory of Victory in Ukraine? Modern War Institute at West Point

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Takeaways from AP’s interview with Ukraine’s Zelenskyy AP. That photo (!):

Typically with an upward shot like that the photographer gets a halo round the subject’s head. Not this time…. And the blurred hands… Quicker than the eye? (“During an interview with Julie Pace, senior vice president and executive editor of The Associated Press.”)

B-a-a-a-a-d Banks

Depositors yank another $126 billion from US banks Yahoo News (Rev Kev).

Lex in depth: how safe are America’s regional banks? FT (RK).

Remote Banking Crisis Dror Poleg

The Secret Diary of a Bank Analyst Net Interest


Donald Trump to surrender to New York prosecutors on Tuesday FT

The Trump Indictment: Making History in the Worst Possible Way Jonathan Turley

Donald Trump lawyers: who are attorneys defending ex-president in Stormy Daniels case? Reuters

Our Famously Free Press

Judge sends Dominion lawsuit against Fox News to trial Politico

Twitter is dying TechCrunch. Starts out good, and ends up here: “We should also consider how the ‘rules based order’ we’ve devised seems unable to stand up to a bully intent on replacing free access to information with paid disinformation.” Who’s “we”? Do “we” really believe in a “rules-based order,” if those quotes are not airquotes? As for “bully,” could we please not personalize literally everything as a form of microaggression? As for disinformation…. Ruling class actors are a squillion times worse than, say, QAnon, if indeed a distinction exists, there. With friends like these….

L’Affaire Joffrey Epstein

Google founder, former Disney exec to get subpoenas in JPMorgan Epstein lawsuit CNBC (Rev Kev).


Despite OpenAI’s Promises, the Company’s New AI Tool Produces Misinformation More Frequently, and More Persuasively, than its Predecessor NewsGuard. That’s not a bug. It’s a feature.

Google and Microsoft’s chatbots are already citing one another in a misinformation sh*tshow The Verge. GIGO2.

Italian privacy regulator bans ChatGPT Politico

Paradigms Gone Wild London Review of Books. On Thomas Kuhn.

Zeitgeist Watch

I Really Miss My George Foreman Grill Eater

The Liberating Pleasures of Eating Meat With Your Bare Hands bon appétit

Class Warfare

Auto Workers Convention Lurches Towards Reversing Concessions Labor Notes

What Has Driven the Labor Force Participation Gap since February 2020? Federal Reserve Bank of New York

CHARTS: We analyzed revenue per employee to show why Amazon, Meta, and others are axing workers with brutality and speed Business Insider

Today’s management-speak has a lot in common with 1930s Soviet propaganda—and it’s making people miserable Fortune

As You Grieve, Your Brain Redraws Its Neural Map Psychology Today

The benefits of ‘deep time thinking’ BBC

Scientists Found an Entirely New Way of Measuring Time Science Alert

A Growing Number of Scientists Are Convinced the Future Influences the Past Vice

Zillions and Zillions Online Etymology Dictionary. “You have to want to know the past like a citizen.”

Antidote du jour (PB via JU):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. steve

    Your Antidote du jour is an antidote for what? I’m struggling to imagine what a slaughtered mountain lion and a happy-about-it “hunter” could be an antidote for.

      1. LawnDart

        Appears to be lot of blood on the guys right hand and on kitty’s fur…

        …the ultimate antidote?

          1. LawnDart

            Known some cats who like to play rough, and yeah, end-result often looking like I had stuck my hand in a blender.

            1. Brian Beijer

              I think you’re correct. The blood across the cats ribcage is obviously splatter from the man’s bleeding hand. The man’s smile, both with his lips and eyes, is one of love; not victory. The picture is taken up against a haybale, meaning the man is standing up holding the cat. If the cat were dead; his head would naturally be limp, falling toward the ground. It would take quite a bit of posing to make a dead cat’s head look as if it’s “leaning” on the man’s shoulder. Why would a hunter go to the trouble of making a dead cat look alive? No, this is a man posing with the love of his life. This is how I look when posing with my wolf dog :)

            2. skippy

              My 50 kg+ long coat German Shepard teeth are something to keep the hands well away from when playing around, just an accidental tap on them can be quite painful and I will never again try to pop a tablet down his mouth with my fingers … gagged a bit and could feel the molars on my finger and thought it was gone …

              His claws and bounding over me on the couch is another concern … gentle Ralph gentle … just does no understand his power and weight vs pink monkeys …

              Yet I woke up this morning with him next too me and he plonked his head on the pillow with his nose touching my forehead and I threw my arm around him with my hand in his plush fur …. he then did a big sigh with his big chest … an went ummmmm deeply …

    1. The Rev Kev

      You look online and you find a fair few images of guys holding up mountain lions that they bagged so it seems to be a hunting thing.

    2. Steve H.

      Fascinating links today; aperiodic tilings, rapture spinning, geothermal calderas… Cudos for this.

      I assume the puma is connected to the ‘sly strategy’ link. I’d be good with replacing the image, this site could have a livery badge inscribed


            1. LawnDart

              The frontier closed about 150-years ago. While the lands may have belonged to the cat’s ancestors, it’s probably been a ranch for generations now. If it’s been preying on livestock or poses a threat to people or pets, yes, fair-game.

              But we can take your point further: how about you raze your house and return your abode to nature’s rightful hands? What’s your ecological footprint? What is the justification for your existance?

              1. hunkerdown

                Are there any arguments not designed to train up young people into capitalist private property?

                1. LawnDart

                  Well, from a Western POV, the argument might be brutal and short…

                  But then there’s China…

              2. mrsyk

                “What is the justification for your existance?” I have none.
                “What’s your ecological footprint?” I’m pretty careful about it, but that doesn’t matter. The climate horror that will remove our species, probably before the end of the decade, have been set in motion. There is no turning it back.
                The frontier being a distant memory has no bearing on the metaphor I cast, which I’m not sure you got.

    3. Martin Oline

      For an antidote to the antidote du jour I recommend reading Mountain Lion, one of the stories in The Animal Dialogues – Uncommon Encounters in the Wild by Craig Childs. It is a story of his encounter with a mountain lion in the Arizona desert. The lion was looking for lunch and thought Craig would do just fine. Well worth your time.

      1. Wukchumni

        I’ve read most of Craig Childs books, and would advise all to seek the treasure…

        My favorite tale of tail came about 20 years ago on the High Sierra Trail in Sequoia NP.

        A friend worked @ the Bearpaw Meadow High Sierra Camp about a dozen miles in the backcountry, and had come to Burning Man with us and we had a great time, and upon his return to the Bay Area his jeep got broken into and also a speeding ticket, so he beat a path home to Mother Sequoia, and his mode of transport was to run the trail mostly, so he hits the trailhead @ Crescent Meadow around 6 pm and off he goes and come to about mile 6 where a shelf for the trail was simply blasted out of the granite face for about 100 yards and there was no egress up or down, that was it.

        Then came Bronson (that’s his name) around a corner about twilight time and his mind asked him ‘what’s a pony doing on the trail by itself?’ the backside of the mountain lion he had run into, that is.

        He came to a dead halt (not that kind) and picked up a 10 pound boulder, made himself seem huge (hard to pull off when you’re as sinewy as he was) and slowly backed away, you don’t want to appear to be prey.

        Halfway home he could either walk back to work or go back to Crescent Meadow from whence he came, it was the same mileage either way, so he gave the cougar time to decompress and slowly made his way to Bearpaw getting past this most crucial section of the trail.

        …he never ran the trail again

        1. skippy

          There are signs on Boulder, CO. trails warning about running with cougars around, reflex response from an ambush spot thingy …

    4. farmboy

      spring calving season for the guy with the hay. Cougar kill of domestics is very threatening and disturbing and bagging one is almost heroic. Cougars meow and purr and will blast a high pitch scream instead of roar. You hear that at night and the dogs either bark or wimper. Huge jumpers and radius of around 50 miles and rest in trees. they’ll kill and hide uneaten portions and come back every couple of weeks. Elegant and dangerous, majestic.

    5. Raymond Sim

      Suckers!!! The cat’s fine, he’s just playing along with the April Fool’s prank.

    6. ron paul rEVOLution

      “Whenever I see a photograph of some sportsman grinning over his kill, I am always impressed by the striking moral and aesthetic superiority of the dead animal to the live one.”

      Edward Abbey

  2. Ignacio

    “No one wants to own those Chinese bonds” . How much of those reserve flows are US-owned reserves how much of it are West-owned reserves? Might that chart be telling precisely that money is flowing on the geopolitical divide? No idea, just asking

    1. griffen

      The bigger problem is corporations in China feeding at the state owned trough, whilst posing as a private organization that may even get floated as public equity on the NYSE. Not enough sunlight into the board rooms and accounting structure and standards, my two cents. At a bare minimum in the US, most corporations in the US adhere to GAAP standards. Working recently at two consumer finance companies, an external accounting firm was typically used to finalize and release annual financials. For international standards, most developed economies utilize IFRS, to my knowledge.

      Added, the king (USD) is dead, long live the king (USD).

    2. timbers

      Along the lines of your comment, I add this.

      Things are in fact changing and might help to clarify the process if we capture and recognize that change by using different words or categories, for example borrow from the military classification of air superiority vs air dominance.

      Air dominance is: you can fly your planes over your adversity with little to fear.

      Air superiority is: you can close the air space over your adversity and prevent them and others from flying, but you can not safely fly over you adversity yourself.

      Apply that to currency, In the recent past you could say the US had currency dominance. The US could devastate adversary economy using swift and economic sanctions of many/most economies except large fairly diverse economies like China or Russia. The possibility of alternative currency transactions were far fewer in availability to most nations.

      Today, that seems to have changed to the US has currency superiority. Many mid to large nations are increasingly bypassing US swift and USD, often out of necessity because of sanctions imposed by Washington, but now also proactively by choice as well.

      In the history of reserve currencies, has there ever been a nation with that status that went out of it’s way to destroy it’s currency reserve status? Like the US is now? (though she may not realize she is doing this). Asking that because while it’s true it has historically taken long periods of time to lose reserve status, it’s possible if not probable we are watching a different situation and the time line might be different.

      1. Ignacio

        I like your example.

        Now imagine you have air superiority and dominance but you can only land the air planes in your own airports, in your own territory. That might (might with big doubts attached) be the shift we are starting to see. Less airports available for those immense reserves. If so, (changing from planes again to currencies) would that cause more inflation at home?

      2. fresno dan

        very elucidating.
        I think we may be seeing the limits of financialization. The US can create as many dollars as it wants and its always worked in the past. The question is: who gets the benefits of these dollars?
        I think there was some optimism about rising wages. But it was not only a Potemkin rise in wages, but a real decrease in standard of living for most, if not all of the 90%. I think this accounts for most, if not all, of the antipathy towards Biden.
        Many mid to large nations are increasingly bypassing US swift and USD, often out of necessity because of sanctions imposed by Washington, but now also proactively by choice as well.
        I think countries that have been forced into the dollar regime will take advantage with relish to get out of it…despite our own propaganda, these countries understand US neoliberlism is not their friend.

        1. hk

          I suspect that people might be getting a bit ahead of themselves on dedollarization a bit, although US govt seems very eager to hasten the process. The challenge seems 3 (or more) fold (in interrelated manner).

          1. If not dollar, what? It’s not just about a single transaction, but about future stream of transactions. If you have a stockpile of RMB instead of dollar, can you be sure that you will find takers for your RMB more than you’d for dollars?

          2. Where can you store your RMB’s?

          3. Can you be sure that your RMB’s will be good to morrow, next year, or 10 years from now?

          Now, the catch is that no one can be so sure on all these points about the US dollar either. But China, or whoever else, hasn’t really been at this sort of game in the past and pertinent infrastructure is lacking. Maybe things will change, as US keeps sabotaging the dollar regime itself, but it will take a lot of time and effort to build the alternate infrastructure and, given the time and effort involved, countries will be reluctant to throw a lot of effort into the process unless they see US as really hopeless (compared to alternatives). Of course, it does mean that, when the real moment comes, dedollarization may be a lot quicker than not.

          1. timbers

            Heh all we need is an app and no more $ hegemony, right? Don’t know if I’m joking or a great prophet when writing that….

          2. Stephen

            I tend to think you are right.

            But the analysis needed is probably to check on which countries are running persistent current account surpluses. They are ones that are systematically accumulating foreign currency reserves.

            Then we need to ask if those are countries whose elites will feel “safe” in accumulating dollars. China is one of those countries, of course. Not sure how safe they feel dollars IOUs are right now.

            The analysis needs refinement too. For example some current account surpluses may be earned by US owned assets so clearly that complicates things but it is a reasonable first pass.

          3. The Rev Kev

            It seems to be a basket of currencies is the way to go which would include the US dollar and the Chinese RMB. At the moment a US dollar costs seventeen cents to make but gets a full dollar’s worth of another country’s resources. It has been a sweet scam but the massive deluge of dollars manufactured – mostly digitally – since the 2008 crisis has now made this unsustainable.

            1. JTMcPhee

              MMT, the part about never running out of currency if you are a sovereign nation, maybe ceases to work when the rest of the world, tired of being boot-faced by the US imperial sovereign, stops playing? Just asking, the ideas are too big for my aging brain to juggle or comprehend.

              Still, the US landmass still has some real resources which as I understand it are the actual assets that make the other part of MMT, where pretty much anything the looters want and the politicians turn into policy can be “paid for” with those magical “authorizations to be appropriated” out of the full faith and credit of the US… which I don’t know, may be getting pretty threadbare after reaching for the brass ring of full spectrum hegemonic dominance all these years, coming to a head with the feeding of the insatiable war machine and the cokehead cabal in Ukraine.

              On a related subject, I’m increasingly convince that the comedian actor at the top of the looting pyramid in Ukraine is actually a very deep Russian plant. Just about every action and decision and policy he enacts seems to be designed to ablate the thing formerly known as the nation of Ukraine, and the death cult known as NATO, playing to the strengths of the Russians and their strategy of attrition. Maybe he is earning that Oscar that Sean Penn gifted to him, playing the role of his life and salting away a few billions for his eventual retirement. Stranger things happen all the time… Other than that, Mrs. Kennedy, how did you enjoy your trip to Dallas?

          4. Kouros

            Since China is the factory of the world, one can always buy things from China with RMBs, can they?

            Internally, populations do not need an “international reserve currency”.

            Trade between countries is in fact costlier if they have to resort to an intermediary like the US and its currency.

            And the financial products that the US sells are actually over rated…

      3. digi_owl

        I dear say USA could do that back in the day not because of the currency but because of industry.

        Because after WW2, European industry was pretty much gone. USA’s nearest industrial rival was USSR.

        This meant that when USA sanctioned a nation said nation was cut off from all the products that USA produced, and that the nation may need for some reason or other.

        This also made USA a massive buyer of raw materials. And we see how IMF etc leveraged this by getting nations to focus on cash crops etc ahead of food crops.

        But by now USA has become a paper tiger. It has exported most of that industry to China, while turning to the importing of finished goods.

        The only outstanding question is like that old joke about if you loan a thousand you have a problem, but if you loan a million the bank has a problem. That is, is USA a big enough market still for China etc to care about access to it.

        1. jonboinAR

          Michael Pettis seems to think it is. He seems to be arguing that China and the other surplus exporting nations very much need for the US dollar to retain its reserve status. It’s all well above my pay grade.

    3. jbc

      The destruction of profitable bond markets by the prudent application of a command economy is an obviously good thing.

      Cry a river.

    4. Robert Hahl

      On the underlying issue of de-dollarization, there may be speculators using the dollar forever, similar to crypto, while the real economy runs on other currencies. That is why charts showing hugh volumes and proportions of dollar transactions all seem irrelevant to me. Who cares what currency these speculators use, so long as they don’t do it in the streets and scare the horses?

    5. digi_owl

      I can’t help think that government bonds are pointless in this day and age. They seem like an artifact from when the Bank of England formed, in order to get the rich of England to part with their gold. So that the king could continue the various wars he had going on.

      1. hk

        Everyone tried to sell bonds, but UK (especially in 18th century) was different because the English political system, where bondholders (basically) had a big stake in Parliament was thought to be more credible about repaying it’s debts unlike other countries where the king could simply refuse to pay his debts by fiat. This is still relevant: is the US Treasury still good for the bonds that it issues? Can you store your dollars safely in various instruments under US control? If you have a pile of other currencies, where can you (safely) store them?

        1. Wukchumni

          The principal item that seemed to come of the Soviet Union going away was military goods of all types and stripes (you could be a general for fifty bucks-the full uniform) with oodles of cheap ammo, almost giveaway cheap-and available for quite awhile, there wasn’t much else on the shelves back in the steppe afford state that anybody in the west wanted.

          One curious thing that came out of the walled woodwork in the early 90’s and back to the mother country, was a whole bunch of 1882 & 1922 series Gold Certificate $100 banknotes, there were suddenly say around 500 of these unleashed on the market in a few years, hidden away inside many a dacha hamlet wall for 70 years, perhaps?

          This is what they look like, we called these older Federal banknotes of all stripes ‘Horseblankets’ as they are about 40% larger than current FRN’s issued since 1928.


          1. skippy

            Strange how there is no permanent store of value … eh … even before government set the price of gold …

            So maybe its the quality of contracts that proceed everything and not some silly token thingy …

              1. fjallstrom

                And enforcing the laws are the armed thugs of the state. But for there to be something to extract for the armed thugs there needs to be a real economy with land, labour, capital and a society that keeps the economy running.

                Otherwise you are down to storing canned goods. Which at least has an intrinsic value for humans.

      2. eg

        Selling bonds to “fund” spending in a fiat currency issuing state with monetary sovereignty is an anachronistic holdover from the era of gold standards and their resultant mercantilism.

        So yes, right now in our era of floating fiat currencies it is “pointless” in fiscal terms; it may serve other purposes, however — for instance providing a risk free asset against which all other private assets can be priced.

  3. griffen

    Who are the lawyers representing Donald Trump? Apparently as evil and despicable as some may think that Trump is, he still gets the right to representation. So, a big “yay” for America in 2023. Added, same goes for Hunter Biden whom I despise and personally find reprehensible, but he gets the right to representation as well.

    Lawyers got bills to pay too, I guess. Or to quote Josey Wales, “buzzards got to eat, same as worms”.

    1. some guy

      Has Trump abused and stiffed enough lawyers that no good lawyers will want to be involved with Trump anymore? What quality of lawyers can Trump find?

      1. griffen

        Lawyers that he can find, now I’m thinking of the classic Jurassic Park scene, whereby the lawyer has scurried away from the disabled Ford vehicle and is hopefully hiding from the suddenly real T-Rex. Oh lookie, the T-Rex finds the lawyer after all and proceeds to have a tasty, human sized meal.

        Slightly off topic, but my mind wanders on Saturday morning.

      2. The Rev Kev

        Forget the lawyers, which judge really wants to be know as being the one for sentencing a former President on some pretty dodgy charges and thus influencing the 2024 Presidential elections? The Kobayashi Maru scenario has got nothing on how that judge would feel.

        1. wendigo

          One rumor, and it is all rumors at this point, is the felony charge is for tax evasion.

          Allegedly Trump Organization reimbursed Trump $ 420 000 for his payments to Cohen and Trump did not declare the money as income.

          If true, a huge (yuge?) mistake on his part as he could easily have legally evaded taxes like he evades all other income taxes.

          1. flora

            If that’s the rumor then this is starting to look like a fishing expedition, a la the Ken Starr perse prosecution of B. Clinton. / ;)

            Nancy did just say that T has a right to prove his innocence, which is not how the law actually works. Innocent until proven guilty. Not ‘guilty until proven innocent.’ (Ya think she’d know that, being in the US lawmaking body for so long. sheesh.)

          2. JTMcPhee

            It’s only “evasion” if it’s not legal.

            What the PTB do is “avoidance.” Accomplished by application of accounting tricks that are “legal” only because the rich folks can get the bribe takers in the legislature and regulatory agencies to enact the laws that make “all nice and legal, see?” whatever scam or sham they are pulling off (by doing away with estate taxes and constantly shrinking both what is defined as “taxable income” and the tax rates that apply to them and a host of other cleverisms conjured up by their minions.)

        2. ambrit

          Extending the metaphor; the Trump indictment looks exactly like what the fictional Kirk did, change the rules and cheat.
          To misquote Clausewitz: “Law is the continuation of policy with other means.”
          In short: Lawfare, American style.
          If Trump wins in 2024, the Democrat Party had better watch out. Payback is a Hillary.

          1. JTMcPhee

            Why do any of us assume that Trump, if he wins, will have any more control over the real levers of power than he did the last time? Seems to me he was only “allowed” to do stuff that was in the Blob’s and Big Money’s and Deep State’s game plan. His chances of nailing the Witch of Arkansas or getting the Empire’s looters out of Syria or any other desiderata vanishingly small.

      3. Tom Doak

        He can afford the kind of lawyers that want to get a lot of exposure on national TV, defending the sanctity of American justice. And that will be exactly his sales pitch . . . “Look at all the free publicity you’ll get, you should be paying me to take the case.”

        1. Mildred Montana

          “The only bad publicity is an obituary.”
          —–Brendan Behan

          This applies to both Trump and his lawyers (and to all other public figures for that matter).

      4. Martin Oline

        Robert Barnes says Trump is cheap and it often gets him in trouble because he uses cheap lawyers instead of good lawyers. I would guess he may pay more this time. Check this link out at 29:30 minutes: Robert Barnes’ opinion.

        1. tevhatch

          Why pay for advise he’ll usually ignore because ego. Separately, Stormy Daniels may want to up her body guards pay. According to yesterday’s Grayzone livestream, Max interviewed her some years ago long before she met Trump and it’s clear she was willing to take up political games for pay and PR. Trump may have been in the target of some operatives even back then.

                1. ambrit

                  Or, as James Carville would put it; the Merry Maids of Meth. (I wonder what the exchange rate on the black market in Moscow for a hundred dollars US to rubles back then was?)
                  It’s clarifying when the hotel gets renamed as a “Fulfillment Centre.”

                  1. R.S.

                    I wonder what the exchange rate on the black market in Moscow for a hundred dollars US to rubles back then was?

                    When did that story supposedly happen, in 2013? No black market in any meaningful sense for a decade or so, owning and exchanging foreign currency became fully legal in 1994.

          1. Wukchumni

            In his Waco speech, hair furor told the assembled crowd that he wouldn’t touch Stormy Daniels with a 10 foot pole, and keeping abreast of the action, Stormy replied:

            True, he used a 3 inch one.

              1. Wukchumni

                Women have been winning the ‘he slid-she slid’ court proceedings as of late, and on that very subject, drove by and presumably waved at you from the I Like Ike Memorial Freeway aka CSR 41, en route to & from a magnificent day of skiing @ China Peak under the veil of nothing but blue sky overhead.

                1. ambrit

                  “…under the veil of nothing but blue sky overhead.”
                  Do you mean to tell me that there is a Club Med ski resort in the Sierras? From ‘Burning Man’ to ‘Freezing Man’ in a flash.

                  1. Wukchumni

                    I’m temperate in my terra firma, and this winter i’ve been to the yin and yang of Yank resorts, never skied anything like Beaver Creek before, you walk by a litany of high end outdoor wear stores such as Patagonia Kids and right on up to adult sizes in other stores, ye gads the place reeked of money, a high end outdoor mall, with a few flights of escalators to get you to the promised land, er, the first set of lifts.

                    I skied by what kind of shocked me, in that there was a candy store midslopes, never having seen one amid slips.

                    At the bottom of ‘skid row’ on the far end is a chair and just below it, a Ritz-Carlton where we dined on $40 nachos, livin’ la vida XXXL.

                    Beautiful resort, and a daily lift ticket is $279, but if you buy a 5 day pass it was only $90 a day.

                    Now contrast that with China Peak where a lift ticket was $63 yesterday, the amenities of dining and staying overnight not really updated all that much since it was built in 1959, but the chairs are modern enough and in big years such as this one, oh the opportunities you get with spectacular amounts of snow covering up the formerly familiar terrain.

                2. Yves Smith

                  She has nothing to do with the proceedings. She’s not a party.

                  The case appears to be about why Trump made the payment and how he recorded it.

            1. Jason Boxman

              All I could think is why would someone be crowing about having slept with The Donald? She’s not exactly distinguishing herself, either, with that retort.

          2. Geo

            If so then he just got caught up in his own mess. The guy looked up to John Casablancas and Epstein was quoted saying “I want to set up my modeling agency the same way Trump set up his modeling agency”.

            Maybe my tinfoil hat is on too tight but I’ve long felt the only way a guy as bad at business and notoriously crooked as Trump could keep failing upward is by having dirt on more powerful people from all those model parties he hosted.

            It does seem the only sin that can take down a powerful person in America is lust. They can steal, lie, hoard, boast and be heralded as great men. Makes sense that with everything he’s done in his decades as a conman it would be trivial financial games to cover up infidelity of all things that would be what they get him arrested for.

            Fitting but still pathetic.

    2. ArvidMartensen

      It must look very scary to any lawyer to represent a high profile person who is feared and demonised by the people who mainly control politics, the government and the media. The evidence of that is everywhere, Taibbi for one.
      I am so over the constant news drops of how Trump is a clown, an idiot, an insurrectionist, a crook. To me it all just smacks of a propaganda machine in action. It may be true but that’s not the point.

      Back in the day, and there are current examples, rulers of many countries fiercely clung to power using whatever because they knew that as soon as they lost, they would be thrown into jail on trumped up charges to get rid of them. Pakistan, Brazil come to mind.

      The real story is that every government is on the make, and if they are in the pockets of a powerful ruling clique then all evidence of their own fraud and looting just goes away. Poof!
      And not only that but they get to trumpet ad nauseum the fraud and looting of the other side, with some made-up stuff to spice it up..

      So Hunter Biden’s laptop disappears. JFK screwed his way around the country (the old dog wink wink). FDR had a woman on the side. Were they put up against the wall by the media? Nah.
      But Trump the unloved gets pinned with an insurrection that mainly didnt happen, and he had a relationship with not his wife, but he doesnt get the JFK treatment. And I’m beginning to wonder about Nixon too. I see that there were a lot of undercover CIA running around and reporting on him.

      So what we see is mostly mirage and smoke and mirrors, brought to us by people who think they own countries and everyone in them, and want to keep that going.

      Democracies are a sham when people have no idea what is really going on.

      1. JTMcPhee

        Keep repeating to yourself, the immortal words of CIA Director William Casey: “We will know our program of disinformation is complete when nothing the American public believes is true.”

  4. Jeff Stantz

    RE: Study: Long COVID could involve factors other than SARS-CoV-2 infection

    Good to read this. Frustrating that people think SARS2 hangs around in the body. I am betting there is some nutritional deficiency caused by SARS2 infection.

    What nutritional deficiencies are associated with psychological illnesses?

      1. Jeff Stantz

        As far as PCC is concerned, Persistent SARS2 does not play a role. That was my point. Poorly worded.

        But I do not think port mortem people who died from SARS2 is relevant to the iowder population of those of us still living.

    1. Raymond Sim

      Frustrating that people think SARS2 hangs around in the body.

      Huh. You’re thwarted by this in some way?

      What ideas about nutrition are associated with psychological illnesses?

      1. ambrit

        Low blow, but thoroughly enjoyable. Now let’s confuse him with the solid evidence that “vaccine” spike proteins hang around the body of maybe a tenth of the “vaccinated” for a month or longer. (The opposite of the ‘advertised’ effect. They are supposed to clear the body within a week.)
        Stay safe. Keep masking.

        1. Jeff Stantz

          mRNA vaccine spike protein is transmitted through the body because it is inside a lipid particle. There is no evidence the same is true for SARS2 natural infection (in living people) since it is not in a lipid nanoparticle.

          I am not against masking, but I have not worn a mask in two years and have not had another noticeable SASR2 infection. and I am in no way saying masks do not work, but I caught COVID when I and everyone else was masking.

          1. ambrit

            For mRNA spike proteins ‘resilience’:,days%20after%20COVID%2D19%20vaccination.
            The “Official” narrative:,(within%20a%20few%20days).
            The robustness of the lipid nanoparticle encased mRNA “vaccine” isn’t the issue, the length of time it stays intact within the body is.
            I’ll agree to not bring up the adverse side effects of the “vaccines.” [Passive aggressive argumentation. A staple of political arguments everywhere.]
            Keep safe.

  5. The Rev Kev

    Working link for “Embattled Macron heads to China, leaving burning Paris behind” article at-

    He won’t be going alone but will be going with Ursula von Der Leyen so that should be a barrel of laughs. A senior French diplomat for Macron said ‘Our message will be clear: There may be a temptation to get closer to Russia, but do not cross that line’ while Ursula herself said ‘How China continues to interact with Putin’s war will be a determining factor for EU-China relations going forward’ so I am sure that China is quaking in their boots. If they keep this sort of rhetoric up, the only Chinese official that will be greeting them when they get off the plane in Beijing will probably be a janitor from China’s Foreign Ministry.

    1. JohnA

      How China continues to interact with Putin’s war will be a determining factor for EU-China relations going forward

      Oh the irony. The EU has been totally silent about Biden supplying arms to Taiwan, maybe that should be a determining factor for EU-China relations going forward.

      1. The Rev Kev

        The EU has already burned all their bridges with Russia. Wonder what the EU will look like when they burn all their bridges with China.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Would you believe that von der Leyen is up for consideration as the next NATO Secretary General when Jens Stoltenberg goes? She always fails up that woman no matter how bad she makes a mess of things. Also-

        ‘Speaking at the European Policy Center on Thursday, Von der Leyen said the EU needed to “stress-test” and “de-risk” its relations with Beijing, both political and economic, and argued that a “decoupling” from China was neither a viable strategy nor in the bloc’s interest. On the other hand, she argued Brussels needed to be “bolder” in its approach to China, which she described as becoming “more repressive at home and more assertive abroad.”’

        When the Chinese heard her speech, they recommended that she should get a better speechwriter. I guess that the Chinese have been spending too much time listening to Russia’s Maria Zakharova.

        1. Ignacio

          Hers is not a message for the Chinese but for the EU audience and she treats us like the idiots we are with such no sense messages.

        2. digi_owl

          It probably helps her that dear old dad was a major political figure.

          Seeing far too much of that lately where otherwise sub par politicians are making it big thanks to ancestry alone. Stoltenberg is just one such example out of Norway.

        3. Martin Oline

          She always fails up that woman no matter how bad she makes a mess of things

          Macron is also looking to fall up, into a position in the EU hierarchy. He is possibly going to see how duplicity, er, diplomacy is done in the EU. That would make him (45 y. o.) the student and Ursula (64 y. o.) the teacher. Where have we come across this before? Perhaps his wife Brigitte (69 y. o. and his former teacher) should worry.

        4. Kouros

          Better than Chrystia Freeland in my opinion, who’s ten times more dangerous because she’s intelligent and she’s a fanatic ideologue in certain matters. Ursula is a fake and that can be seen from a mile. The Canadian-Ukrainian one on the other hand is not a fake.

    1. mrsyk

      Now there’s an ugly can of worms with the top ripped off. (Breakfast is ready!) One thought, by no means a whole cloth explanation, maybe policy crafted during ZIRP looking not so good in an environment of rate hikes. Then again, maybe everyone in DC got the foggy brain and can no longer solve two ply two.

  6. Deb Schultz

    I read the headline “Chinese cities so broke they’re cutting medical care for seniors” and immediately thought so? That isn’t even news here when it keeps happening here. It certainly isn’t seen as somehow showing that we’re broke or broken.

    Just pretty sad to see how much we wish ill to others while refusing to see our own illness.

    1. digi_owl

      And that ties into the Buzzfeed article about missing European healthcare. As my first thought when reading that was that neolib infested politicians are hell bent on crapifying the national services to make the private offerings look tempting. In recent years for example i have noticed that certain relatives of mine are quite quick to make a call to private clinics when there is something they want checked.

  7. griffen

    Twitter is dying, is this what Yogi Berra would write if he were A. living still and B. a writer at a tech outfit instead of a MLB catcher on some all time great Yankees teams. I find it hard to take the article that seriously. Yeah, yeah, Musk is an awful billionaire and he seriously paid too high a premium for acquiring the company. I guess if you don’t pay for the blue check then you have funds to buy like, 2 drinks at Starbucks instead ?

    Twitter, no one goes there anymore. I suppose TechCrunch can reposition their social media team to not use it either, but after a quick check that is not the case just yet.

    1. Tom Doak

      My favorite line in that article was

      “The upshot is Musk is turning Twitter into the opposite of a meritocracy.”

      The whole piece is the wailing of a college graduate who believes he is part of the meritocracy, and is being denied his rightful place.

      1. hunkerdown

        *she, and as it turns out her pedigree (Cambridge, Goldsmiths) is very compatible with the neoliberal high priestess journey.

    2. digi_owl

      More like it is returning to form. A place for hobbyists and enthusiasts to stay in touch and exchange information, rather than as a bullhorn for journalists and Tumblr refugees (i swear so much of the ills of Twitter kicked off when Tumblr clamped down on “porn”).

    3. Wukchumni

      My twitter feed is unaffected by character maximums or blue check fees, they pretty much repeat the same sonnet aloft in the trees.

      1. c_heale

        So far there doesn’t appear to be any substitute for Twitter. If there was maybe it would be dying, but I’m not convinced yet.

  8. The Rev Kev

    “Why Primates (Including Humans) Love to Spin Ourselves around until We All Fall Down”

    It seems that primates love the feeling of acceleration – or the need for speed. Take a look at how many people line up for rides, especially roller coasters. Come to think of it,that might make an interesting series of experiments. Strapping in a variety of species in apes into carnival-type rides, attaching sensors to them and see how they react when accelerating or turning at speed. Probably better to recruit apes that showed a liking for spinning.

    1. digi_owl

      No need to strap them in, just look at how easily some of them traverse the tree tops by leaps and swings.

      Again and again what seems to be going on is that we humans have found a way to push our primate brains beyond anything it would experience in nature, and have it trip over itself in a dopamine high in the process.

      Because i can’t help think that the obesity issue comes back to us now producing refined sugar/starch in quantities never seen in nature. Even a ripe fruit tree has most of its sugars bound up in fibers we can’t digest, and thus the buildup of fiber in our stomach regulate our sugar intake from fruit.

      But white bread, once seen as a luxury for the very same rich that were the primary sufferers of type 2 diabetes, is now produced in massive quantities. Never mind the number of frozen precooked meals that are “reinforced” by sugar and syrup, as sugar is a nice way reduce the buildup of ice crystals and makes the meal less bland.

      To get back to the original point, the basic issue seem to be that our brains do not have a cap on experiences. Meaning that anything that can be done can be done to excess in order to trigger an “overflow”.

  9. Nikkikat

    Antidote picture made me sick to my stomach. Mountain lions are awesome big cats. That image will haunt me for a while.

    1. JM

      I really hope this “antidote” gets switched out for something that’s actually good. All cats are fantastic, and big cats deserve our respect and appreciation from afar.

      It’s really disappointing on all levels to see.

  10. Objective Ace

    Lots of talk about USD losing reserve currency status, and the CNY gaining it.

    But NOBODY wants to own Chinese bonds…

    What would happen if the Chinese version of our Federal Reserve started buying bonds directly? Or lending money to preferred elites at super low rates and encouraging them to invest in bonds? I’m not convinced inflows of bonds is that meaningful of an indicator. It can be gamed by monetary policy

    1. Milton

      I keep hearing (admittingly, random blog comments) that no one is purchasing US securities, which backs what you’re saying that the Fed is the buyer of last resort. I’m guessing the China CB is not well versed in monetary shenanigans as yet so that it’s gov’t Bonds will move along a more normal trend line given the rate-raising climate.

      Also, even with glasses I have a tough time discerning features in an image unless I dramatically zoom in which makes me sad to hear that the antidote was a slaughtered couger rather than what I initially thought was a loving hug from a handler. From a person who literally will not kill a gnat, if I can help it, this disturbs me. I assure you I will not go back and take a closer look to verify. For me it is simply a snuff image.

      1. digi_owl

        That, or the Chinese leadership is far better staffed with people that do not get enamored by such slights of hand.

  11. Tom Doak

    With regard to AI and disinformation, I think you’ve got the formula wrong. It’s not GIGO squared. It’s GIGO to the power of infinity. [Unfortunately, I don’t think my computer will allow me to type that.]

    1. Jason Boxman

      So this “AI” chatbot stuff is just the latest iteration of self-driving cars. It’s simply shiny garbage that’s gonna get a lotta cash for the perpetrators, do some damage to society as a whole, and not deliver on any of the broader promises made to the non-investor class. But the possible scale of the damage here is likely to be vastly beyond anything that self driving cars might deliver.

      1. barefoot charley

        I just realized that AI is the perfect corporate information source. Like corporations it embodies impunity, not being responsible for anything it does, let alone what it does wrong. The driving wedge of AI penetration no doubt will be Communications and HR departments, which already operate by those corporate ideals, where humans only get in the way . . .

        1. hazelbrew

          if by AI you mean things like chatgpt, and the models behind that, then they are just tools, like the surgeons scalpel, a writer using google search or an analysts model. the surgeon, writer or analyst is responsible for what they do, not the tool.

          variations of this technology are already in use with programmers – e.g. github copilot. its a big speed boost. get copilot to write the bones of a function and then tweak for correctness. yes you still need to test and verify. though you can also get chatgpt to write tests. iterating over code is much faster. though you are ultimately responsible for correctness, but the speed increase is clear.

          I can see any department being impacted – with both benefits and downsides.
          if you haven’t, I encourage you to try it. do not dismiss or underestimate it.

          1. JTMcPhee

            Yeah, corporate and government types will be using ChatGPT as a tool, or be used by it as it learns? The folks at the NRA also insist that guns are just tools, and tools don’t kill people, people do. How’s that working out, writes this Floridian where the effing governor and legislature have just enacted a law that lets anybody who wants to, with no training or anything, carry a concealed weapon? (Carving out safe spaces for their personal pink and brown and tan asses, of course.) Which libertarian sci if writer claimed that “An armed society is a polite society”? We shall see…

            1. Hazelbrew

              Used by it as it learns?
              By that do you mean used by Microsoft as Microsoft learns? How is that any different to five years ago?
              And don’t make the mistake in thinking this is just corporate and government. I have friends using this in all aspects of life, as a way of speeding up what a single person can do.

              Tools. I did wonder if someone would bring up the guns point. Chatgpt and llm are not akin to guns. A gun is a special purpose tool with one job to do. Think of this incarnation of ai more like electricity, a pen , the printing press or mobile phones. These are all general purpose tools.

              Commiserations about Florida. Your governor is a real nasty piece of work :(

      2. hazelbrew

        you are wrong. Can I assume you haven’t seriously tried using chatgpt4?

        no, this AI chatbot is not just the latest iteration of self driving cars.
        many of the machine learning techniques might be the same.

        but the tech in cars is a specialist application for that one purpose – driving a vehicle.

        the large language models behind gpt4 are a general purpose technology.

        its not shiny garbage. try it.

        It really is full of promise. Critical thinkers that know what they want can get there faster.
        what it needs is us to engage and be curious about it, not dismiss it.

        1. will rodgers horse

          i tried it. asked it to do a biography of myself. Complete and utter rubbish

          1. Hazelbrew

            And what else did you try?
            If that is all you tried then it sounds like you set out to try and make it fail.

            That is an unrealistic expectation and not a curiosity driven exploration of what it can do.

            Try asking for a structure or outline of a biography. Try asking for variation in biography format.
            Try asking how those have changed over time.

            Try getting it to summarize in 200 words one of the articles off this site

            Asking it to write a biography of you is like complaining that the screwdriver you just tried couldn’t build a car from scratch

              1. hazelbrew

                thats a good start.
                the more detail in the prompt the better the results.
                e.g. ask for the top features of each type of republic and how the US has changed over time.

                something like “compare the top 5 features that distinguish a plutocratic republic and a democratic republic and the top ones they have in common. with reference to the US make arguments for and against the US being a plutocratic republic.”

                then because this is a chat – build on the answer.

        2. c_heale

          All the current language ‘AIs’ have been caught giving out false information. They don’t seem to have an I don’t know answer, which might solve this problem.

          They aren’t AI. They are matching patterns of words found in online texts, which are then edited by humans to give better results.

          They are inefficient because they use vast amounts of energy. A single human uses much less and would provide more accurate answers.

          Their only use is to generate text ideas which a human can edit quickly.

          But they way they are being used and presented they are being used as a scam.

  12. expr

    Re: Hollywood + (minimizing) COVID
    I do not watch a lot of TV and mostly broadcast
    For those who watch more varied programming
    How many instances have you seen of
    1. A character has COVID bad enough to stay home
    2. A character is hospitalized with COVID
    3. a character dies of COVID

    1. playon

      The only show that I have seen that occasionally shows someone masked is Party Down (which is a very funny show that satirizes much of modern American culture). There’s a scene or two showing the occasional mask and at one point the boss admits he’s had COVID three times.

  13. The Rev Kev

    “An aperiodic monotile exists!’

    So, how long before you can buy that pattern in floor tiles? You know that it is going to happen.

  14. mrsyk

    “But nobody wants to own Chinese bonds” That year in the red is the year of the Russian SMO. Western $ heading home is what I’m seeing. If the global economy is getting split into two isolated competing factions, I’m going with the faction that has an industrial base as the one with legs.

  15. tevhatch

    RMB replacing USD

    Not as long as China is not run by 1% proxies. USA isn’t the only nation with a horrible reputation for confiscation of property, but at least it’s easy to bribe your way out of trouble in the USA.

      1. tevhatch

        Not easy, and not by just anyone with loads of cash. You can do an interesting experiment. Call a congress critter and a CPC member, offer them money and see what happens. I recommend calling the congress critter first, as the next call could succeed in either getting you rich or very dead.

  16. LY

    Michael Pettis provides an answer about how US maintained dollar dominance as it switched from trade surplus to deficit:

    […] run surpluses when the world wants to import scarce savings and must run deficits when the world wants to export excess savings. This is what it means to say that the issuer of the global currency must effectively give up control of its capital account to balance whatever the rest of the world requires.

    Covers the same ground we’ve had here in discussions of dedollarization. As for the present, everyone except US is trying to run trade surpluses, no one is changing its capital controls, and China is not changing its financial and monetary policies.

    1. digi_owl

      Because USA simply can’t, as that would empty out basically every retailer in the nation.

    2. tevhatch

      Greece is running a significant trade defect, which is why Germany, then the USA, and finally China have been able to buy up much of anything with utility value. You’ll find much the same in many EU, South American and African Nations, except the Germany part. The point here, just like those countries, much of what remains of any value in the USA has been sold for next to nothing, or even given away with an extra bucket of cash, and that is the value of the current system to the 1% 0.001%

  17. Lex

    I think all discussions of international reserve currency need to be framed within David’s (Aurelian) point from this week’s essay. There’s a fundamental error in the way Americans approach the new world order of multipolarity / polycentricity / however you prefer to call it: the expectation that some other currency or country will one-for-one replace the dollar/US is false. For one it doesn’t fit any of the statements from the leaders of the movement, nor does it fit the documents they’ve released indicating intention, nor does it fit the framework already developed via BRICS. Nobody’s trying to replace the dollar completely.

    What everyone is very busy doing is to provide a bunch of ways to ignore the power of the dollar in specific situations. And the point is not to defeat the dollar so much as to protect nations from the sanctions regime tied to the dollar. The only country destroying the dollar’s reserve currency status is the US. Or perhaps it’s better phrased as the country doing the most to destroy the dollar’s reserve status is the US.

    And that behavior speaks directly to what David describes in the western navel gazing analysis style. Its inability to conceive of a world where anyone might act differently than US leadership acts.

    1. ChrisFromGA

      I was thinking along the same lines. Why have a reserve currency at all?

      My admittedly low level of Knowledge here leads me to wonder why can’t Brazil trade with Argentina in pesos? Or Iraq with Vietnam in their own local currency?

      If there are shortages of lesser currencies then temporarily converting to BTC or something could substitute for dollars. Not at all well thought out on my part in any case but the tech is there

      I think this is what the world should do but I am sure that there are dark forces trying to stop it. See the fate of Gaddafi.

      1. digi_owl

        It was a replacement for the previous gold reserve system, that came about partially thanks to USA “safeguarding” most of Europe gold reserves (the rest having been looted by nazi Germany) after WW2.

        Thus the USD became a proxy for that after Bretton Woods, until Nixon rescinded when France et al came to collect.

        At this point it would seem the USD is hinging on the US public’s ability to consume. But that ability is diminishing rapidly as consumer credit has replaced wages.

    2. digi_owl

      Perhaps in part because western scholars blame mercantilism for the world wars, vindicating Ricardo in the process.

      Thus anything that even come close to mercantilism have them recoil in horror, even when the true goal is more akin to making a nation self-sufficient.

      And yes, that sanction regime has been the core of US soft power after WW2. With crude a example being the “make the economy scream” decree by Nixon.

  18. Wukchumni

    Depositors yank another $126 billion from US banks Yahoo News
    First they came for the deposits, and I did not seek out because I didn’t have any money in the bank.

    Its the equivalent pf a ‘silent bank alarm’ in that there are few lined up to pull money out of the banks, its all pretty much happening online.

    The internet makes it so damned easy to panic…

    1. The Rev Kev

      Maybe those depositors are thinking of what happened in Cyprus during the financial crisis when they shut the banks, you were only allowed to withdraw a certain amount of money each day via an ATM and eventually depositors were roped into a bail-in where their money was used to bail out their banks.

      1. Wukchumni

        In a way it’s tantamount to ‘Own goals to new castle’, er bank.

        What the proles don’t understand is that the attack is on the object of their desire-not individual banks.

        Giannis Antetokounmpo opening up a whole bunch of different bank accounts with $250k in each one to be safe from losing anything over the FDIC insured limit is atypical of the lack of thinking.

        What good would it have done you to withdraw money from a bank in Germany in 1921 to place in the custody of another German bank?

      2. JTMcPhee

        Wasn’t that Crete “bail-in” to “bail out” the effing BOND HOLDERS of those banks? To completely remove the credit risk that is supposed to be a part of any bond transaction? I get a little sick at the notion that if one goes to Investopedia and looks for a definition of “bonds,” one reads that “ Bonds are LOWER-risk and lower-return investments than stocks…” Not ZERO risk with a guaranteed recovery of principle and interest, which of course is how the effing Elite understands their “rights” in bond INVESTMENT transactions. Hey, “rich folks don’t go to a bank to get a haircut,” that would be only for mope depositors!

        Time for a Jubilee?

        The whole problem seems to be the thing about compound interest, that scam about “putting money to work.” Calvin at his worst.

    2. Gregorio

      A lot of people like me, are “yanking” money out of U.S. banks, not because they’re panicking over losing their deposits, but because the interest rate on T-bills and other government securities are so high, that it makes it pretty much a no-brainer to shift their savings from accounts typically paying sub 2% rates.

      1. dave


        It is super easy these days to jump from <1% bank account to 4+% money market mutual fund account.

    3. Mikel

      On the other hand, bank deposits have exceeded FDIC insurance since…well, the inception of FDIC insurance.

      Just spitballing, but more people are finding about higher interest offerings.

      People moving aime money out of banks and putting it to work (and then redepositing gains later down the road) was never called bank runs before.

      These stories aren’t saying accounts are being closed or that all of the money form accounts is being moved. Only broad based totals.
      In some places, I’ve noticed alot of crypto heads wanting to frame all of this movememt as “bank runs.”

    4. jefemt

      My mind turned this one inside out for a query:
      If 65% of adult Americans have less than $4K in liquid assets/ savings, assuming every penny is in a bank, how much is that?
      (And, either in a bank, gun safe or mattress, it is either ‘insured’, safe and not ‘lost’ or even at risk. It may become grossly de-valued, but we have already arrived there…)

      Web shows 339 million Americans in 2023
      12% under 18
      .88 x 339 = 299
      299 x .65 = 220 million paupers.
      $4K x 220 Million = $880,000,000,000 eight hundred eighty billion…

      The article does not mention how many depositors shifted the another $126 billion. Implicitly, it was NOT Peter Pauper.

      1. Kouros

        “65% of adult Americans have less than $4K”

        What is the distribution, which goes from $0 to $3,999?

        Your estimate is $220 millions bigger than the maximum possible given the assumption you made.

  19. Ignacio

    Orban on putative “EU peacekeepers”: “EU” as a pig and “peacekeeper” as the lipstick. Hopefully not soon in our theatres.

  20. pjay

    – ‘Europe Close to Deciding on Peacekeeping Troops in Ukraine’ — Viktor Orbán Newsweek.

    What was Orban talking about here? Surely the “EU” would not be stupid enough to try and insert a “Peace-keeping” force into Ukraine without some sort of agreement with Russia? Would they? That would have the same effect as trying to impose a “no-fly zone.” And why would Russia trust that any such “multinational” force would be at all neutral, given its previous experience with such bodies? The rhetoric is getting more and more irresponsible.

    1. David

      The headline writer obviously didn’t even bother to read the story, whose first paragraph says:

      “European leaders are close to discussing whether the European Union can send peacekeeping troops to Ukraine, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán was quoted as saying on Friday.”

      In other words, Orban believes that he can get the question put on the agenda for a future Council meeting. And there’s no official confirmation even of that. The EU can’t “decide” any such thing because it’s not within its power. The most they could do would be to agree that if asked they would be prepared to do it. But I can’t imagine there would be much enthusiasm: the history of small forces deployed between large ones, ever since Bosnia, is not encouraging.

    2. TomT

      If the plans are real, we can only hope that western military commanders will put the kibosh on this foolishness. (I hope that’s not a naive hope


    3. digi_owl

      There have been rumblings about Poland sending troops into western Ukraine, if not further east.

      The region, Galicia, has an on again off again history with Poland.

    4. Polar Socialist

      Medvedev already responded that Russia considers any armed personnel in Ukraine as a valid target.

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      I say give it a try. Deputize some church ladies to enforce it. Give them a blanket search warrant for the whole state.

      Check it out for 30 days and see how people like it. There have been people ever since I was a kid 60 years ago who have sworn that what was wrong with this country at the mass or individual level was a lack of basic Christian decency. Give them 30-60 days in Arkansas to see if this helps and if people don’t mind the intrusion.

      Maybe if it turns out that those 1791 laws aren’t so fun or effective at promoting the general welfare, those people will shut up for a while, and we can pursue some more reasonable options.

      And if this won’t fly in Arkansas, where will it?

    2. ambrit

      The other shoe droppeth.
      A few months ago, on this blog comments section, a poster evidenced “scorn” for my assertion that the anti abortion groups masked a deeper reactionary movement. Said movement wants to abolish all forms of birth control. The Dobbs ruling is a step to the rear as it were on the sexuality and reproduction control front.
      A similar pattern to how the Evangelicals in certain Southern states inched their way to ultimate control over social policy via the School Boards of States and Counties is in evidence. Love them or hate them, the Reactionaries have patience and discipline.
      Oh but were our Left that steadfast.
      Stay safe. Prepare for the Storm.

      1. digi_owl

        The left can’t as it’s core tenet is to question all authority. That makes it great for seeding chaos, but not so good for maintaining marching orders over time.

      2. Swamp Yankee

        Ambrit — it is precisely this — patience and discipline, plus a) having grown up here in SE MA; and b) written my doctoral dissertation on 18th c. Town Meetings in this Town — that constitute the reasons I have become heavily involved in local politics here in the borderlands of the Megalopolis and SummerTouristLand. And from an explicitly Commonwealth perspective –the Commonwealth thought is laid out decently in short form here:

        Historian Bernard Bailyn and his attendant historical school deal very much with the 18th century Commonwealth Men, and the persistent points the latter make, and which I echo here, are — there is such a thing as the public good and public things (res publicae); these things are properly, according to the ancient Constitution stretching back to Magna Carta, common, exclusive of some other proprietary interest; we have democratic governments — directly democratic in the Open Town Meeting — to guard these common things and the public good, and doing so is our duty and our privilege.

        Some of our Towns are better governed than others. But all are able, via the Town Meeting, to tell arrogant enclosing economic interests (who would for instance, try to change a Town’s Zoning bylaw to suit their purposes, rather than the interests of the Town) to go pound sand.

        So in short, we do exist in the provinces — I am 40, and there are a number of people my age active locally and starting from the ground up. Having lost faith in the powers that be, and the various political establishments, we are lucky here to have the only direct democracies in the world, where every registered voter is a member of the municipal legislature, the Town Meeting, and may bring motions from the floor, etc., during Town Meeting. We therefore are able to use it — to the extent we can, which is pretty great under the MA Constitution — simply do what our Babylon-like ruling classes either cannot, or will not, or both.

        Even if you don’t have a direct democracy, I think local politics really is a way to just start taking the country in the direction the Left wants to see. And that’s what many of us are trying to do. It still is “not too late to dream a newer world.”

        1. JTMcPhee

          What is this Left to which you refer? The Official Left is working hard and exactly to take the country in the direction it is going. Until the political unit called the United States gets fractured into units responsive to the broader polity, like your town meetings, I don’t see a bit of hope that the Chamber of Commerce and MICIMAC can be wrested away from control of all the levers of power.

  21. fresno dan

    Twitter is dying TechCrunch.
    We have entered the modern era of myth and fable. There is now a significant portion of the population that will always believe Russiagate!Russiagate!Russiagate! although there has been plenty of debunking of that assertion – because the myth is repeated again and again in practically all MSM.
    And of course, the purveyors of that nonsense had the slogan Democracy Dies in Darkness
    Well of course, the people who lie the most will say they are the truth tellers. They will say that the truth is disinformation and the truth is a conspiracy theory. Of course, the MSM that once had a skeptical take on the CIA and FBI is now so infiltrated with them that any news cast is as related to reality as an octopus to a hummingbird.

    1. digi_owl

      Because that myth is preferable to them over having to introspect on why saint Hillary the feminine failed to get elected.

  22. The Rev Kev

    “I Really Miss My George Foreman Grill”

    I remember these things being advertised at the time so went to see what Wikipedia had to say about them. Would you believe that there was also a Jackie Chan Grill? ‘The Jackie Chan Grill is the same grill as the George Foreman grill, but targets the Asian market, and is marketed by both Jackie Chan and George Foreman’

    1. Berny3

      What I miss are the Hibachi grills they used to sell back in the 70s. Simple design, easy to use for one-person cooking, I used it every day while driving/camping across country way back when. Nowadays, the grill they call “Hibachi” is designed badly. I bought one, used it once, and never used it again.

      1. Nikkikat

        My parents had a hibachi grill in the 70s. It was fabulous. Used it for years. Cooked all of our food on it. Best steaks we ever had and fish was also terrific. Cannot find them now.

    2. CitizenSissy

      My vote’s for the Ron Popiel (sp) Kitchen Magician. Ron was a 70s-era TV huckster, but I use the KM to this day slicing cucumbers for pickles.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I wonder if they got around to calculating how many staples there are in that building and what the combined weight of all that iron would be. Iron would have been expensive back then and where it was sourced from would be interesting to know.

      1. Paradan

        General rule of thumb for Europe is 2 pounds of iron per adult. That had to go to tools, pots, and hinges, etc. Over the centuries this number slowly increased until blast furnace’s hit the scene.

        One day I was stopped at the tracks waiting for the train to go by, and I looked at the rails and thought, that’s a lot of steel. I wonder how many suits of armor that is…..

        So 1/4 mile of railroad track (the kind in California) is enough steel to fully armor 3200 knights, horses not included.

  23. griffen

    Management, corporate speak and general bafflegab. Yeah that was an interesting read, I had not read much before, of the particular Russian mining whiz who found it ideal to not use a pick to dig out the coal. While modern corporations are generally speaking, not people, I do believe historically corporations somehow were able to do two things at once. Maintain profitability and at best, pretend to care about the longevity of their loyal employees through defined benefit pensions and the like. Granted, much of that was from union-centric efforts and it helps when much of the modern world elsewhere was bombed and hollowed out following the World wide conflagration of WWII.

    Corporations today, at least my experience since joining the ranks in 1997, have legitimately morphed into a performative stage with the hope that an engaged manager or department exec takes notice of your attempts at the extra effort. Otherwise, why even bother to arrive before 8:00 AM and likely stay until 5:30…I mean that isn’t a 16 hour day but it’s pretty sufficient. I reached the point post-pandemic, that I’d just as likely chop off my left arm as bother going into an office setting 5 days a week again.

    Office Space was a relevant satire when it came out. Still quite relevant today. I’m sticking around for the hourly compensation and whatever insurance coverage is a bonus, better to have something than nothing, so to speak.

    1. David

      Ironically, the Soviet Union took a lot of this from American management theory as it existed at the time. Stalin was a great fan of Frederick Taylor’s work.

    2. spud

      child labor will help keep free trade capitalism afloat for a few more years. the jim crow laws that created forced/prison labor crafted by bill clinton and joe biden proved fleeting, so its onto child labor, then of course press gangs roaming the streets are not far behind. but in the end, gravity always takes hold.

      Lenin and Mao must be smiling from their graves.

    3. LifelongLib

      It’s interesting that by the 1950s, early 20th century U.S. automobile and electronics corporations were already showing signs of sclerosis, completely missing the significance of things like small cars and transistor radios. Ditto in the 1980s or so for the many U.S. companies started in the wake of WW2, and today for “high-tech” firms started 40-odd years ago. I wonder if there’s some sort of natural corporate aging process, where companies that were started by people who cared deeply about their product are bought out (when the founders retire or die) by people who only care about maximizing profit.

  24. Alan Roxdale

    For anyone interested, I came across a really good podcast conversation with Mike Benz about the history of the new internet censorship apparatus. Spoiler alert: It’s a Washington political project, very tied to geopolitical events.
    Never heard of the podcast before. Happily the presenter just lets the guest talk.

    The current operation is an evolution of a Jared Cohen’s work in the last 2000s on using social media for colourful revolutions in the middle east. But the beast morphed considerably after events in Ukraine in 2014, with efforts to “win hearts and minds” in Eastern Europe. Benz claims that from 2016 first Brexit, then Trump, Sanders and Corbyn shifted the primary focus of operations to domestic censorship. He also claim that the fairly significant censorship industry that has resulted over the last ~8 years, can be traced in all circumstances back to political leadership in Washington.

    It’s a fascinating overview, and the first serious overview I’ve heard explaining that the new censorship is not arising from private industry, but rather is being driven directly by the US government, who is now charging taxpayers money for the privilege of being muted online.

  25. Rodeo Clownfish

    The article on tapping geothermal energy from Yellowstone was very interesting. I do wish the authors had included a consideration for piecemeal construction/implementation of the project, rather than just assuming an all-or-nothing approach to an investment of trillions of $. A calculation of energy return on energy invested (EROEI) would also have been helpful.

    1. jefemt

      Interesting indeed. There are lots of controls and moritoria(?) on drilling wells anywhere around Yellowstone, so as to not impair the natural wonders of the geothermal features and unfathomable plumbing works.
      That said, there may be plenty of hot earth and / or groundwater within a few hundred miles of the park. (seems like the trend line is heading NE, to Cody…)

      The recent demographic shift to the northern Rockies, last bastion of Freedumb and Bootstrappin’ Rugged Individualism ™: ID, WY, or MT – would welcome it with open, ‘All of The Above’ arms. As long as it can be privately held and profits maximized, costs externalized. ie same o same o.
      No commons approach allowed or even considered!

    2. Walter

      I really wish this had not been linked on April 1 :-) It’s interesting and I would hope that it could be a practical project. I’ve skimmed the whole paper, and read much of it in detail. There seems to be a lot of salesmanship in the writing, and some fairly high-altitude pie. They do get into some detail on the process, and the possible components of the system, but the difficulties and fine points are “beyond the scope of this paper” (especially drilling process, potential geological problems, details of water flow through the 8km columns).

      The first author is the head of a small company that makes customer database software and a Y-adapter for light sockets. The second teaches at Purdue, but her bio doesn’t seem to mention an energy or geology interest.

      I’d like it to be real, and I think we should get the DOE, Army Corps of Engineers, or whoever, researching it right away! However, I expect their preliminary report on my desk by about, oh… 2040. Oh well, we’ll probably hear about this on one of the renewable energy youtube channels in a few weeks.

      I occasionally have some hope that Quaise Energy will do something spectacular with their deeper, but not volcanic, geothermal electrical generation relatively soon. I’d bet on them before the Yellowstone thing.

      Absolutely everyone’s mileage will vary.

  26. tegnost

    kunstler in fine form, I don’t always see eye to eye with him, but he sure has a way with words…

    “How a President’s Arrest Can Strengthen a Democracy,” honorary cat-lady Nicholas Kristof opined, repeating the bad-faith trope that his legions of Wokery have an interest in political rectitude — when, in fact, they are solely preoccupied with coercing, censoring, cancelling, persecuting, punishing, and defenestrating anyone who objects to their grifts and hustles. “Only love and a leap of faith can break through distrust. That is why a credible form of patriotism is so important right now,” explained The Times’s official Superintendent of Platitudes, David Brooks, to soothe consciences grated by this loutish gambit to shove a political adversary off the game board in advance of an election. “Joe Biden may not be your cup of tea,” Mr. Brooks summed up his civics lesson, “but he’s restored sanity, effectiveness and decency to the White House.”

    1. Carolinian

      I read that earlier, and while I’m not a big Kunstler fan I think an absurdist take on the “Trumpgasm” more appropriate than the Taibbi/Kirn take that for once is lacking in true perspective.

      Kirn seems to think some kind of Rubicon has been crossed and now TPTB will go after not just Trump but anyone who defends Trump and they’ll use the internet to do it. But an alternate view is that the indictment of Trump is a sign of weakness and desperation rather than power and dominance.

      And Trump is not some kind of noble martyr but basically an unserious guy who had four years to make a difference and pissed that chance away no matter how unhinged his opposition. Personally I think even Trump’s fans–who may be less devoted than many think–understand this. There will be no civil war. Kunstler thinks reality will soon assert itself for the clowns currently in charge and that seems likely. Their 1/6 hearings were a dud and this will be too. As for the Rubicon of escalating political combat, that was crossed long ago.

  27. Wukchumni

    If you search for legal tenderness
    It isn’t hard to find
    You can have the lucre you need to live
    But if you look for truthfulness
    You might just as well be blind
    It always seems to be so hard to give

    Hegemony is such a lonely word
    Everyone is so untrue
    Honesty is hardly ever heard
    And mostly why the world
    Is distancing themselves from you

    We can always find someone
    To say they sympathize
    If we have something up our sleeve
    But I don’t want some other pretty face value
    To tell me pretty lies
    All I want is everyone to still believe

    Hegemony is such a lonely word
    Everyone is so untrue
    Honesty is hardly ever heard
    And mostly why the world
    Is distancing themselves from you

    We can find lucre lovers
    We can find financial friends
    We can have security until the bitter end
    Janet can comfort us
    With promises again
    I know, I know

    Hegemony is such a lonely word
    Everyone is so untrue
    Honesty is hardly ever heard
    And mostly why the world
    Is distancing themselves from you

    Honesty, by Billy Joel

  28. Mikel

    “It’s The Thing I Will Really Miss When I Move Back To The US”: Americans Are Sharing Everyday Aspects Of Life In Europe That Feel Like Luxuries If You Didn’t Grow With Up Them Buzzfeed. #17: “Universal, government-run healthcare.” Can’t have that. Don’t these nimrods understand they’re vassal states?”

    Indeed. The question that is going to be answered is how much will the Europeans miss alot of those things?

  29. Tom Stone

    A little perspective for those who want to ban “Assault Rifles”.
    During the Biden Administration fewer than 1,000 Americans were murdered by criminals using any kind of rifle.
    During that same period more than 700,000 Americans died of Covid.

    Let’s look at the logistics involved, I’m not going to be mean like Flora and ask you to define what an “Assault Rifle” is, let’s just say it’s the AR10,AR15 and AK47 families of weapons.
    There are not less than 20,000,000 AR15’s and not less than 10,000,000 AK’ s in the USA along with a comparatively few AR10’s, 100,000 or so.
    I’m also not considering legally owned fully automatic weapons because those are owned by people with money and influence, not the rabble.
    Since some own more than one AR or AK let’s assume 15,000,000 owners and a 90% compliance rate.
    What are you going to do about the 1,500,000 Americans who refuse to turn in their Guns, many if not the majority of whom will be Veterans of America’s forever wars?
    Disarming that many frightened self righteously angry people is going to get very expensive and very ugly very fast.
    Specifics please, how are you going to do it and what will it cost in blood and treasure?

    1. ambrit

      Politically, all the lost “blood and treasure” will be worth it to inaugurate and enshrine a true Authoritarian State. “True Believers” will gladly go along with the mayhem if it is described as “patriotic, right thinking, and all American.”
      Think also of the secondary ‘perks’ of such a policy for the Overlords. Finks, stoolies, and quislings will be proliferating wildly. The centrally located Organs of State Security will become entrenched at the heart of the State and gain unlimited power. Resources will be directed towards upholding the State. The “Undeserving” will be disenfranchised and literally starved into submission.
      For you Jackpot enthusiasts, all the above will “shrink” the population. Then the “Second Coming” will occur.
      Stay safe.

    2. marku52

      Truly that ship has sailed. However, IIRC both Oz and NZ banned the things successfully and have not had mass shootings since.

      I guess we are just “special” as usual. the country that can’t do anything…..

  30. Jeremy Grimm

    RE: “What Is Russia’s Theory of Victory in Ukraine?”
    An attempt to read this link along with a quick look at some of the recent publications by the U.S. Army War College left me with a very disturbing feeling about the state of u.s. strategic thinking. This extract from the link was difficult to reconcile with what I had come to believe were the facts on the ground:
    “Initially, the Russian regime may have regarded its invasion of Ukraine as a ‘regional conflict’ with ‘important’ military-political goals, and its classification as a ‘special military operation’ may have been genuine. Indeed, it seems that the Kremlin’s ambitious political objective was to install a new, pro-Russian government in Kyiv by lightning action. Bold, deep maneuvers along multiple axes of attack and the rapid elimination of the Ukrainian government in Kyiv should have led to the collapse of Ukrainian resistance and prevented Russia from indirectly opposing the economically and technologically superior West in a protracted proxy war.”

    Contrast that assessment of u.s. military with that of Andrei Martyanov in the video link from Naked Capitalism 31 March: “You Will Hardly Find This In The News…” Andrei Martyanov, [Note: Dedollarization was only one topic considered in Martyanov’s video. Martyanov argued, convincingly to me, how u.s. military technology was far behind Russian technology. He also drew a picture of how u.s. military procurements and strategy reflected a strange and dangerous misapprehension of reality.

    1. hk

      One curious thing to notice (not just on the Western side, but also the Russian cheerleading section as well) has been how people lacked perspective on the big picture. At least after March last year, Ukraine is no longer at the focal point of the current conflict. It is, at minimum, about relationship of Europe to the rest of Eurasia and the “substance” of the future world.. (I think the talk of “dedollarization” and “end of US ‘unipolarity'” are yet premature–although they will doubtlessly look and work very differently in the near future–unless US gov’t sabotages them both in the near future.) To people eager for a quick and showy non-result results achieving short and “obvious” goals, what’s going on with the current conflict is doubtlessly confusing and disappointing. The difference, though, is that there are very few if any people
      (seemingly) connected to corridors of power in Russia talking such nonsense.

      1. Ignacio

        A lot of Western reporting and analysis of Russia consists of specular reflection of Western goals. You can say this is natural once you have defined Russia as your enemy their goals must be the exact opposite of ours. So, adding to what you say (lacking perspective, agreed) oversimplification plays a big role here (particularly in the “dedollarization” and “multipolarity” themes). The most obvious simplification is that we and everybody are supposed to be aligned with one of the sides.

    2. Old Sarum

      re Theory of Victory (generally),

      I haven’t read enough to know whether leaders have ever ruminated on the “theory of victory”. But from what I have read, if it is even considered by initiators of conflict, it gets quickly subsumed by contingency. Anyway, seemingly the people who start wars don’t have the mental facility to even consider such a concept as the theory of victory as they are more engaged in political reputation, honour, glory and perverted ideology, or saving their own skin.


  31. Wukchumni

    Over 30 million adult Americans do this and how could 13% of the population be wrong, despite it being a known killer?

    1. Tom Stone

      The causes of violent crime are socioeconomic and cultural with some of it attributable to pollution, specifically leaded gas and lead paint.
      Alcohol use is also incontrovertibly linked to violence and particularly domestic violence.
      When someone like “Personal pronoun Shit” slaughters a bunch of kiddies they do it to get attention, to matter, to have some shred of importance.
      How many of you know this cowardly murderer’s name and what they looked like before they were put down like a rabid rat?
      How many times was this little shits picture shown on TV with a detailed explanation about how the murders were committed and what tools were used?
      An instruction manual for the violently insane.
      Is it possible that making these murderers famous might have something to do with clicks, views and profits as well as providing an excuse for further repression?

      1. Jason Boxman

        The causes of violent crime are socioeconomic and cultural with some of it attributable to pollution, specifically leaded gas and lead paint.

        Although futile to say, I’d point out that while someone that’s gonna kill is gonna kill, you can kill so many more people with firearms than without. Reducing how much carnage that one person with intent to kill is capable of is, I think, a worthwhile aspect of defense in depth, along with licensing requirements, mandatory insurance, and so forth.

        Sadly we’ll always likely disagree on these. And the death continues. *shrug*

  32. Jason Boxman

    ‘Everyone is kind of tired and has given up’ on COVID. But this new variant is ‘one to watch,’ the WHO says

    That XBB.1.16 is apparently gaining steam in a country with hefty population immunity from both prior infection and immunity is concerning, Gregory notes. While it’s not clear how big of a surge the new variant may cause in India or elsewhere, “large waves aren’t the main pattern” of COVID cases anymore, he says. “It’s the consistently high baseline that won’t come down.

    (bold mine)

    Congrats, Biden and Walensky (still hasn’t resigned). I’m certainly tired of the incompetence and the pathetic lack of agency expressed by our elite. Defense in depth has been covered at length here as have the dangers of repeat infection. It’s almost as if, the Biden administration wants people sick as frequently as possible, or dead.

    1. flora

      About the WHO… funded in very large part by the Gates Foundation… which is heavily invested in Pharma… no conflict of interest there. (And they want to take over managing the world’s pandemic response, for pandemics they declare…after having changed the definition of ‘pandemic’. ) / ;)

  33. Wukchumni

    My mom was always terrified of earthquakes, so one April fools day, her progeny assembled at the bottom of bedposts and vigorously shook each one with all their might, while the outlier braced herself in the door jamb, like you’re supposed to do in a temblor.

    It went off as planned, best April fools joke ever!

    Godzone is a little bit in temblor territory-Bakersfield in particular which had a biggie in 1952, and there was a sizable one in 1983 in Coalinga, on the western side of the Central Valley, but we’re not in a quake zone so much here, we felt the Ridgecrest quake @ our cabin in Mineral King, and it was tantamount to a SoCal 4.9, no biggie unless you’re a liquor store owner or Hummel figurine fancier.

    One of the reasons we’re here is being in one of the ‘safer’ quake zones in the state.

    Of course the Ridgecrest one was in the summer and there wasn’t the winter of record for the past 125+ years worth of snowpack above me, nor dams that are pretty damned full.

    Murphys Law and all that, with Cali getting quite uppity in disparate locales that don’t usually happen rather simultaneously is probably just another stress test, nothing to see here folks.

  34. MT_Wild

    Side note on lion hunting. Here in Montana, the people who are really in to it use hounds. Thing is, they also really frown on killing lions. Each hunting unit has strict quotas, usually a few males 2-3, and a single female. You can run lion dogs and tree lions all winter if no one kills lions. They absolutely hate it when a non-lion hunter with a lion tag kills one while hunting something else and a unit gets shut down.

    The other thing is they apparently taste really good. Haven’t tried it yet, but heard that enough to take it for the truth. Apparently tastes like a sweet pork.

    Not sure what the lions think about. Definitely makes it harder to catch a problem lion if it’s been treed a few times and knows how the game is played.

    1. Wukchumni

      This 45 minute video of the official California state mountain lion hunter will disturb many, but is useful in knowing how we dealt with mountain lions once upon a time.

      Jay Bruce killed almost 700 mountain lions, and he says in the century year old video that he couldn’t have done it without hunting dogs.

      Jay Bruce-Lion Hunter

  35. Glen

    Very interesting history lesson:

    The ‘Free Market’ is a Fever Dream and Adam Smith Wasn’t in It

    Mark Blythe interviewing Jacob Soll about his new book. Jacob Soll is a professor of philosophy, history, and accounting at the University of Southern California, and in his book “Free Market: The History of an Idea,” he begins way back in ancient Rome, stops in 17th-century France with Louis XIV’s minister Jean-Baptiste Colbert, and, on the way to the present, barely mentions Adam Smith at all.

  36. Jason Boxman

    The debacle that is ObamaCare continues:

    On Thursday, a federal judge in Texas struck down a crucial Affordable Care Act policy: the mandate that private health insurers fully cover preventive care services at no cost to patients.

    The ruling took effect immediately and applies nationwide. It affects dozens of potentially lifesaving preventive health care services that the federal government recommends, including drugs that prevent H.I.V. transmission and screenings for adolescent depression.

    (bold me)

    Health Plans No Longer Have to Cover All Preventive Care at No Cost. Here’s What to Know.

  37. JB

    This is a bit of an odd ask, but I’m reading NC with the tail-end of a migraine, staring at searing-white – and I wonder if the site would consider a ‘dark mode’ button, a bit like the top right button here? :)

    1. AW

      If you are on Linux there are text browsers (links and lynx) available that work very well for NC. They inherit the console defaults so you can choose a font like terminus which is designed for long periods of computer work. My preference is links: no mouse required, sensible keyboard shortcuts. and easy on the eyes.

      1. AW

        PS. Text browsers have the added advantage that they bypass many sites’ javascript blokkers (the NYT for instance). You don’t get adverts, and there is no loading of images or videos.

  38. anon in so cal

    Latest from Russell Bentley:

    “The “world audience” has hung more than 110 spacecrafts above the Ukrainian “theater”. More than 70 satellites from the USA, the rest from China, the UK, the EU and India. What are they watching?

    NATO instructors from the Baltic States and Poland are actively arriving in Slavyansk. Ammunition is delivered to Rzeszow non-stop 24/7, after which it is delivered to the territory of Ukraine in small batches on ambulances and chain stores vehicles. 3 PMCs from Germany, USA and Canada (4300 people) have already arrived in Kharkov and Dnepropetrovsk.

    Intelligence data speaks of the preparation of the offensive of these forces together with the AFU as part of mechanized columns and with comprehensive support from space for all types of heavy equipment.”

    1. JTMcPhee

      No mention of Russian orbital assets? They’ve launched quite a few.

      What you describe is what I think the Russian civil and military leadership know (or ought to have known from the Maidan or earlier): NATO is a combatant, with Ukraine, in a global full-spectrum war against Russia and China. I am hoping that the Russian military is finally well prepared, with a churned-up citizenry to support full mobilization, and that the US, its vassal states and the Western regime get handed their heads in the long-awaited “counteroffensive.” Nothing guaranteed, and I rooted for the Chicago Cubs for 40 years, so future performance is no guarantee of past projection…

  39. Mickey Hickey

    China and Germany are similar in many respects in that they have occupied and exploited their territory for millennia. Minerals, fossil fuels, fertile land hence food are in short supply. Where they differ markedly is that China has a population 17 times greater than Germany’s. As one can imagine governing a population of 1.4 Billion is extremely difficult but given the lack of self sufficiency it is excruciatingly difficult. The Chinese Gov’t is laser focused on governing China responsibly and avoids getting involved in external aggression like the plague. Both countries have to export manufactured goods to survive. Granted Germany within the EU with its much smaller population is less burdened. China as I see it is the last country on earth likely to upset the apple cart. I have had a long and very close relationship with Germany I have been in China but know much less about it. I am Irish living in Canada which is a very easy place to live.

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